I’m going on a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon in late May, followed by a busy ten days in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’re planning a similar trip, this itinerary may provide some ideas you can use. All times are local.



Driving Map


Saturday, May 19

Depart Providence at 0600 and arrive in Denver at around 1100.
Pick up rental car and drive 90 miles to Colorado Springs to visit family.
Route: I-70 W ➜ I-470 W ➜ I-25 S
Begin to acclimate to conditions on the Colorado Plateau (6000’ elevation, very low humidity).

Sunday, May 20

Depart Colorado Springs and drive 280 miles to the home of a friend near Chromo, Colorado.
Probable route: US-24 W ➜ US-285 S ➜ US-160 W ➜ US-84 W

Monday, May 21

Depart Chromo and drive 250 miles to Kayenta, Arizona, near Monument Valley.
Route: US-84 W ➜ US-160 W ➜ US-163 N



Tuesday, May 22

Depart Kayenta and drive 150 miles to Grand Canyon NP (South Rim).
Route: US-163 S ➜ US-160 W ➜ AZ-64 W
Take the Trans-Canyon Shuttle from the South Rim to Marble Canyon, Arizona.
Meet the river guides and fellow rafters, and prepare for the rafting trip.

Wednesday, May 23 – Sunday, May 27

Raft and camp along an 80-mile stretch of the Colorado River in the upper Grand Canyon.
We start rafting at the Lees Ferry boat ramp, about 10 miles southwest of Glen Canyon Dam.
The trip ends near the base of the Bright Angel Trail, directly below the South Rim.

Monday, May 28

Hike up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim (eight miles, 4400’ vertical gain).
Check into the El Tovar Hotel and take a hot shower.

Tuesday, May 29

Depart the South Rim and drive 460 miles to Ridgecrest, California.
Route: AR-64 S ➜ I-40 W ➜ CA-58 W ➜ US-395 N

Wednesday, May 30

Depart Ridgecrest and drive 500 miles to Berkeley, California via Tioga Pass and Yosemite NP.
Route: US-395 N ➜ CA-120 W ➜ I-205 S ➜ I-580 W

Thursday, May 31 – Friday, June 1

Visit with family in Berkeley and San Francisco.

Saturday, June 2

Drive up to Husch Vineyards in Philo, California to attend the annual Wine Club picnic.
Route: I-580 W ➜ US-101 N ➜ CA-128 W

Sunday, June 3

Enjoy an afternoon baseball game at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Drive down to Mountain View to stay with friends during the upcoming conference (see below).

Monday, June 4 - Friday, June 8

Attend the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in downtown San Jose, California.

Saturday, June 9

Depart Berkeley and drive 600 miles to Wendover, Utah via I-80 E.

Sunday, June 10

Depart Wendover and drive 600 miles to Fort Collins, Colorado.
Route: I-80 E ➜ US-40 E ➜ CO-14 E ➜ US-287 S

Monday, June 11

A recovery day visiting with family. Possible excursion into the front range west of Fort Collins.

Tuesday, June 12

Depart Fort Collins at 0900 and drive 70 miles to Denver International Airport.
Drop off rental car and catch a late morning flight back to Providence.